Tips For Flying Safely With Your Dog This Holiday Season

dog and owner flying on a plane together

Traveling during the holidays? Here are a few tips to help you and your dog fly safely so you can celebrate the season.

What to bring:

  • Each airline has its own regulations surrounding pet travel, so it’s important to check with the carrier about what you will need (Delta changed their policies in 2015 and if you're going by train, Amtrak has made updates in recent years as well). Generally speaking, you’ll likely have to present a health certification and proof of vaccination for your dog.
  • An airline-approved crate that is large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down. The crate should be clearly labeled with your name and contact information, and if your dog is traveling in cargo, you’ll need to affix a “Live Animal” label with arrows pointing up.
  • Food, bottled water, and medication, labeled with the dosage in case you and your pet are separated.
  • A recent photo of your pet in case you are separated.
  • Your pet’s identification with your contact information (if your pet has a microchip, ensure your address and phone number are up-to-date).
  • A secure harness or collar and leash.
  • Contact information for a veterinarian near your final destination in case of an emergency.

What not to do:

  • Don’t schedule a flight with a lot of transfers. If airlines can lose luggage, assume they can also lose your pet, and the likelihood of that happening can increase with multiple transfers.
  • Don’t give your dog a sedative before flying (without instruction from your veterinarian). This can create respiratory or cardiovascular issues and can cause your pet to lose his balance and potentially get injured.
  • Don’t forget to let your dog do his business before you board.

For more helpful hints on traveling with your dog, check out our comprehensive guide here. 

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